The federal goverment has extended the deadline — from next month to next August — for Pennsylvania to issue REAL IDs that allow state residents to board commercial airlines and enter certain federal facilities, Gov. Wolf said Friday
The state was notified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that the deadline had been extended from Oct. 10 to Aug. 1, Wolf said.
Driver's licenses and photo ID cards that are compliant with REAL ID are expected to be available in Pennsylvania next March.
"I am thankful that DHS has recognized Pennsylvania's efforts in becoming compliant with the REAL ID Act," the governor said in a statement. "PennDOT has been working diligently to prepare for REAL ID, and we look forward to being able to offer REAL ID-compliant products as an option for our customers."
Without the extension, residents with current state IDs would need a passport or other approved document to board planes or access federal facilities.
Last year, Wolf signed legislation to make Pennsylvania complaint with the 2005 Real ID law enacted following the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The federal law requires driver's licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and to be issued to people who prove they are legally in the United States.
Pennsylvania has lagged because state lawmakers resisted being told what to do by the federal government. The state law enacted last year makes getting REAL ID optional for residents.
State officials now urge residents to pre-verify for REAL ID with required documentation as soon as possible.